Problem: The elevation surface in a 3D scene blocks some features


To simulate the experience of ArcMap or ArcScene in ArcGIS Pro, the user may elect to remove the default basemap that appears when first creating a new project in ArcGIS Pro.

When any basemap is turned off in a scene, what remains is a 'grey globe', called the elevation surface, which is like a blank basemap. The elevation surface may block some features and prevent analysis.


Features may be blocked by the elevation surface in a 3D scene because those features contain negative elevations.

At this time, ArcGIS Pro does not function like ArcScene, where the features underneath the surface are visible by default.

Solution or Workaround

To view blocked features, use the following procedures until the desired effect is achieved.

• Switch the view from 'Global' to 'Local'. Local view is used for smaller extent content in a projected coordinate system, or cases where the curvature of the Earth is not necessary.

1. Start ArcGIS Pro.
2. Click the VIEW tab in the main ribbon.
3. Click Local under the View pane.

• Allow below-ground navigation.

1. Right-click the visible Scene in the Contents panel, and click Properties.
2. In the Elevation Surface tab, click the check box for 'Allow navigation below ground'.
3. Click and hold down the scroll button on the mouse to orient the scene and view below-ground data.

• Remove the elevation source (ground surface).

1. Start ArcGIS Pro.
2. Right-click the desired scene > Properties.

3. In the Elevation Surface tab, click the arrow next to Ground to expand the selection.
4. Click the 'Remove the elevation source' button.

5. Click OK. The feature is now visible.

Related Information